Developing Excellent Students & Graduates Committed to Engaging
with Their Local Communities
Continuing in Fall of 2022, ENGAGE NJ and our partners are striving to dramatically increase opportunities for college-going students of all backgrounds to demonstrate excellence while engaging with issue-driven projects in communities, thereby enabling them to make a measurable difference in their local communities as Changebuilders. This will see a surge in the number of young socially responsible graduates with the skills required to be successful – both in achieving their own work-life goals and in their efforts to be a part of the change for the better. The Changebuilders mission is designed to achieve the following outcomes at a minimum as follows.
DEVELOP SEQUENCES OF COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT PROJECT OPPORTUNITIES throughout students’ educational experience so as to deepen knowledge of and commitment to local community issues, including those who intend to transfer from community colleges to baccalaureate institutions
INCREASE EMPLOYABILITY BY DEVELOPING 21ST CENTURY WORKPLACE SKILLS through high quality community engagement sequences of experiences and through career pathway mentoring. These local experiences will also contribute to these Changebuilders staying in New Jersey upon graduation and supporting our collective economic prosperity
INCREASE STUDENT RETENTION BY OFFERING A GREATER RANGE OF COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT EXPERIENCES AND PARTNERSHIPS WITH COMMUNITY COLLEGES AND BACCALAUREATE INSTITUTIONS. This will also improve positive transfer pathways for a more diverse population of student volunteers
SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASE EQUITY AND OVERALL COLLEGE STUDENT COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT IN NEW JERSEY, a state struggling near the bottom on national statistics of community service for citizens (46th out of 50) and specifically for postsecondary students (49th out of 50). We will grow the number of community engaged students each year by 500+, ultimately helping to develop thousands of engaged citizens, especially those representing marginalized populations, ready to graduate and address pressing local community issues through their work and through their civic participation
ENSURE THAT A SIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF NONPROFITS AND COMMUNITY SERVICE AGENCIES INCREASE THEIR CAPACITY to develop and deliver impactful services and programs for populations struggling at the margins of society. Efforts will include college access and success, educational equality, food and housing insecurity, 21st-century skills, and environmental stewardship
THE SIX KEY ELEMENTS OF A CHANGEBUILDER CAMPUS:
Partner campuses are required to intentionally recruit students that mirror the diversity of communities in which projects will take place, and design partnerships and sequences of experiences that are guided by the following principles at a minimum.
Place the highest value on diversity, equity, and inclusion – by intentionally recruiting students that mirror the diversity of communities in which their experiences will take place
Focus on Project Goal Accomplishment - results achieved through intentional behavior and change in practices
Emphasize Tracking to Success - having built-in points of reflection and learning in order to make the changes necessary for end goal success as part of the program
Tie community engagement to Multi-Year Sequences of Courses & Experiences – refining and improving students’ own practices in making change
Tie Experiences to a Career Pathway - invite the support of local professionals to offer mentoring and co-volunteering throughout these experiences
Seek to develop Civic Transfer Pathways – concrete incentives for community college graduates transferring to a baccalaureate institution